Creating Healthy Habitats with Native Plants

Learning About Healthy Habitats 

If you have suggestions for resources for this page, please email habitatstewardship@marswildlife 


Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard by Doug Tallamy

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy



Websites & Organizations

Plant Guides for Eastern Vancouver Island

Garry Oak Gardener’s Handbook:  Nurturing Native Plant Habitat in Garry Oak Communities (downloadable .pdf)

Selecting Plants for Pollinators:  Download the .pdf of Eastern Vancouver Island Ecoregion

Gardening with Nature: Excellent resources from Habitat Acquisition Trust, Victoria. 

Webinars, Recordings, Videos

SOUL’s 2022 Year of the Ecological Garden Series: Central Canada focus, but great information on functional spaces

Pollinator Steward Webinar Series: is a ten-episode series by Satinflower Nursery and Island Pollinator Initiative includes selecting plants for pollinators, planting meadows and hedgerows

Facebook Groups

Satinflower Nurseries Restoration Group: VI forum helps with questions about restoration techniques, plant identification, planting choices, site preparation, and much more.

Homegrown National Park: Visuals, sharing, advice (Canada/USA)



Where to View Local Restoration Projects

  • Little River, Comox
  • Airpark, Courtenay
  • Ship’s Point Park, Fanny Bay
  • Baikie Island and Campbell River Estuary
  • MARS Wildlife Rescue, Merville

Sources of Native Plants and Seeds for Eastern Vancouver Island

Satinflower Nursery in Saanich, Vancouver Island, provides plants, seeds and consulting. Their website has excellent resources and how-to guides.

Streamside Native Plants is in Bowser offers wholesale and retail native forbs, grasses, shrubs, and trees. Check hours of operation.

Nanaimo Area Land Trust’s Native Plant Nursery is a volunteer-run endeavor. They carry both seeds and plants. Check their hours of operation before visiting.

NATS is a wholesaler of native plants and trees in the Lower Mainland. The minimum order for shipping is $750, so this source suits larger or group projects. 

Local nurseries may carry some native plants like Sword fern and Red-flowering currant. Be aware of cultivars, and aim to purchase the “wild type” or species.



“This sort of restoration is 21st century landscaping. We’ve done 20th century….When we choose plants based only on their decorative value, then landscaping equals ecological destruction. When we choose plants–at least in part–on their ecological function, then landscaping becomes ecosystem.”       ~Doug Tallamy